30-30 for home defense?

This is a discussion on 30-30 for home defense? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; We have talked about the fundamental inadequacy of handguns, specifically handgun ammunition, for self-defense. In several threads, I have read statements from members stating that ...

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Thread: 30-30 for home defense?

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    Member Array Nix's Avatar
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    30-30 for home defense?

    We have talked about the fundamental inadequacy of handguns, specifically handgun ammunition, for self-defense. In several threads, I have read statements from members stating that his or her 'bedside' or 'nightstand' gun is a handgun. In one instance, a snub-nose wheel gun. We seem to acknowledge the limitations of the handgun, but then turn around and use it for home defense.

    It seems to me that one of the advantages of being at home is not having to worry about using a small, concealable gun. One can have just about anything one chooses close at hand. And a handgun seems like a questionable choice to me. In fact, my handguns are usually in a safe while I'm sleeping.

    On the other hand, I like a carbine. I like a shotgun too; but I recently realized that while I will argue the virtues of the scattergun all day long, the firearm I most often have at hand when things go bump in the night is a hand-me-down Marlin 30-30.

    Ballistically not too different from an AK. It'll handle most anything walking within 100 yards. And the Marlin will fire shells all day with utter reliability. The 20" barrel allows a good sight radius and it points quite naturally as well. It is a bit heavy, but can be shot with one hand. In my assessment, an excellent defense weapon.

    You could make an argument for an M4 or M-forgery or shotgun, but I have no qualms about relying on my trusted lever gun. Why would someone prefer a handgun as a home defense weapon? Why would you settle for an underpowered round from a 2" barrel? I don't see it, unless you just can't afford a shotgun or rifle.

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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    The best gun is the one you have on hand...30-30, M4, AK, 30-06, 22 lr, .223, .......... it makes no difference. If you have a 30-30, and you are proficient with it, rock on with
    ”God grants Liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.”
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    Even a carbine class rifle might be somewhat cumbersome to handle when you're sleepy and in bed. I don't know the environment you live in, but you might want to consider over penetration of your target. True a rifle is going to out gun most handguns any day of the week, but you have to consider what the handgun is designed to do. You're not going to beat the quickness and efficiency of a handgun in a crucial situation. Hitting a target at a 100 yards is not self defense, 10 feet is. good luck
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    The issue I have with any "bullet" caliber is pass through. There is a lawyer attatched to each round in that may, and everywhere one lands, a lawsuit is waiting. The reason I champion shotguns for home defense is that unless yours using slugs, the shot will normally lose kinetic energy in drywall. This is especially the case with other is the house, just walls away.

    Just my .02

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    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    As long as you are confident in your backstop, that's a fine HD gun. Some will tell you why a .30-30 is not ideal for clearing a building. I don't know about you, but my plan is to shelter in place and call 911. I only need to cover the door.

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    If a .30.30 is what you like then there is nothing wrong with it. Whatever works for you.

    At the risk of sounding like "Joe", I do like a shotgun for defending inside my home. I have a couple of 870's
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Why a handgun for HD? Because it is a one handed weapon. That leaves the other hand for flashlights, light switches, door knobs, the phone, grabbing your kids, etc. And when fired from retention, it is easier to protect from a gun grab.

    Our HD long guns are for when we are all barricaded inside the safe room, to cover the door. Before then, primary is a handgun for the reasons stated.
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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    Trying to clear a house with a lever action rifle would be inadvisable, the problem is obvious. Even with a shotgun it takes training to be effective in close quarters. Not to mention the bullet would travel through many rooms. Alarms a dog lights should be first line of defense. Cell phone in bedroom an a plan everyone in house is a part of will go a long way in and emergency.

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    The OP suggests something that goes against most conventional wisdom. I wouldnt want to use a lever gun myself, unless it was all I had. But, he lays out a good case, and I am convinced that much that passes for conventional wisdom is wrong.

    We worry a lot about "over penetration", when we should think more about "good penetration". There might well be a time when we WANT to shoot thru the couch, or some drywall. Why? Because thats where the bad guy is. And if any still has in your head that we must be face to face in a gun fight for it to be "fair", or some such nonsense, they really need to rethink what its all about.

    There are actually a good number of people making a good case for the use of ARs for home defense. Comparing penetration (through non human objects), for 5.56, 9mm, and buckshot would surprise a lot of people. But Im sure thats a bridge too far for tonight, lol.
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    Member Array wsquared's Avatar
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    I would say "nothing wrong with it". It's definitely adequate from a terminal ballistics point of view, and if you're competent with it, you can put plenty of rounds downrange.

    I personally would choose an AR over a lever action 30-30...I think that the biggest advantage is the larger magazine. That said, it is very unlikely that a tube magazine full of 30-30 rounds isn't going to get the job done for home defense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Why a handgun for HD? Because it is a one handed weapon. That leaves the other hand for flashlights, light switches, door knobs, the phone, grabbing your kids, etc. And when fired from retention, it is easier to protect from a gun grab.

    Our HD long guns are for when we are all barricaded inside the safe room, to cover the door. Before then, primary is a handgun for the reasons stated.


    ^^^^^^^^I'm in this camp here.

    The women folk all know how the pistols( revolvers & auto's) work.
    You may find yourself in a bad situation where you can't run the lever of the 30-30 good enough one handed.

    Would I have the utmost in confidence in it?
    Yes!
    Do I have the utmost in confidence in the handgun? Yes.
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    Member Array Nix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Why a handgun for HD? Because it is a one handed weapon. That leaves the other hand for flashlights, light switches, door knobs, the phone, grabbing your kids, etc. And when fired from retention, it is easier to protect from a gun grab.

    Our HD long guns are for when we are all barricaded inside the safe room, to cover the door. Before then, primary is a handgun for the reasons stated.
    I hear ya. But I'm not convinced. When I went thought room clearing exercises during some Army training, we used M4's. We had M9's, we used the carbine.

    Like I said, the Marlin is heavy, especially compared to a snubbie. But not too heavy to use one handed when opening a door or flipping a light switch. I once had a black bear awaken me in the night when it was rummaging in my backyard (bird feeders are a questionable idea in bear country). I grabbed the 30-30 and made my way to the backyard, opening doors and turning on lights. No troubles. (Once I discovered it was just a bear, I chilled out and it went on its way.)

    As for protecting the weapon from a gun grab, I don't know. Get close to me and I know how to deliver a devastating buttstroke with a rifle. It's a Krav Maga basic move, every infantryman knows how to do it. In that sense, the carbine is more weapon than a small auto pistol.

    And you are saying that you'd rather start an engagement with a pistol cartridge, a round we all seem to agree is barely adequate for fighting with (as stated repetatively in numerous threads here on DC.)? Doesn't work for me. A pistol is inherently a compromise, why start there?

    Lastly, as far as I can tell, the 12 gauge was one of the most, if not the most, effective weapon in trench warfare. Some people seem to think it is easier to clear a room with a pistol, but I'm not convinced that is true. A tunnel, yeah, sure. But room to room, a carbine or shotgun does very well. A pistol may be marginally faster, but then again, I don't see the pro's opting for a pistol in lieu of a carbine like the M4.
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    Ex Member Array HillbilliesRule's Avatar
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    If you have convinced yourself that it is the right weapon for your HD and it's the one you always default to then you need to start training with it a LOT. It's a hard gun to work well in tighter spaces and it's harder to reload than most guns used for HD. Practice practice practice.
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    Member Array Nix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillbilliesRule View Post
    If you have convinced yourself that it is the right weapon for your HD and it's the one you always default to then you need to start training with it a LOT. It's a hard gun to work well in tighter spaces and it's harder to reload than most guns used for HD. Practice practice practice.
    Well,....I kinda think the M4 or a shotgun is the right weapon for home defense. I can't afford an AR right now. I have a shotgun, true, but I like the lever gun a lot. I can shoot it really well.

    I disagree about it being difficult to operate in tight spaces. It's short. Holding on the shoulder, it doesn't stick out in front of me as much as my 1911 does in a full Weaver stance. Held at the hip, it stands out no more than 10" inches. It can be held vertically next to the body and operated within a couple inches.

    I know I sound like I'm defending the lever gun, and I suppose I am, but I do appreciate the constructive criticism. Thanks guys.

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    Distinguished Member Array Once's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nmuskier View Post
    As long as you are confident in your backstop, that's a fine HD gun. Some will tell you why a .30-30 is not ideal for clearing a building. I don't know about you, but my plan is to shelter in place and call 911. I only need to cover the door.

    Same here. I have no need to clear my house. From my bedroom door I can cover the entire house without being seen.
    The BG can come to me.
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